Posted 4/3/24

Statewide turnout high for presidential primary


OLYMPIA — Washington Presidential Primary election results certified March 29 by Secretary of State Steve Hobbs show the …

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Statewide turnout high for presidential primary


OLYMPIA — Washington Presidential Primary election results certified March 29 by Secretary of State Steve Hobbs show the second-most votes counted of any Presidential Primary in Washington history.

More than 1.7 million Washingtonians participated in the Presidential Primary, a 35.3% turnout of the state’s 4.8 million registered voters. In 2020, nearly 2.3 million voters — a record 49.6% turnout — participated in that year’s Presidential Primary. Washington’s previous highest number of Presidential Primary voters was 1.3 million in 2000.

The turnout was sizable “considering that both parties’ nomination processes were down to clear frontrunners by the time Washington’s turn to participate came up,” Hobbs wrote in a press release. He credited Washington voters, who want to make their voices heard, and the state’s use of mail-in voting.

The information was included in a statement released by Washington’s Office of the Secretary of State. It acknowledges some hiccups on the night of the primary due to a “configuration error.” The result was that a state web page briefly reflected incorrect totals on election night. “Our elections team addressed the issue very quickly, and it did not impact the election,” said Hobbs. “We have taken preventative steps to ensure that only correct statistics will be displayed.”

 Washington has three more elections in 2024: the April 23 Special Election, the Aug. 6 Primary, and the Nov. 5 General Election. Candidate filing week for Washington’s statewide, federal, judicial and local elections will begin May 6.

Certified candidate totals, and breakdowns by county and Congressional district, are available at


New Creative manager


Mitzi Jo Gordon has been hired as the new manager of the Port Townsend Creative District.

“I’m so excited to be working with the local arts community,” said Gordon. “Port Townsend houses such a vibrant group of makers, artists and performers. With the cultural plan as our guide, the path forward is clear. We’re taking the next steps toward a sustainable creative economy.”

Gordon, who served briefly as the managing editor of The Leader, has an extensive background in the arts, fundraising and project management.

“We are excited to have Mitzi join our team. She is deeply committed to the arts, creative place-making and community-building among artists,” said Mari Mullen, executive director of the Port Townsend Main Street Program. Gordon will oversee implementation of the recently released Creative District Arts and Culture Plan. The plan maps out the next steps of the Creative District.

Port Townsend received its Creative District designation from ArtsWA in 2020. Creative District efforts are under the auspices of the Port Townsend Main Street Program.

Gordon is a multidisciplinary artist, writer and researcher whose work centers on socially engaged collaboration and reclaimed materials at every scale. Her creative clients, employers, partners, and projects span from Florida to New York to Washington. These include roles at The Dali Museum, Street Lab, the Tampa Museum of Art, Creative Pinellas, Gasparilla Festival of the Arts, and other nonprofit organizations.

Born in Philadelphia, Gordon is passionate about access and mobility and believes in the “transformative power of shared artistic experiences.” She received her BA in Journalism from New York University, and lives in Port Townsend. 


Library Giving Day is April 3


The Jefferson County Library District Board of Trustees sent a letter to supporters, to remind them that April 3 is Library Giving Day, and to show how much difference contributions have made in the past year.   

 Contributions to the Winter Giving Campaign raised $55,000 toward a future solar installation. The fundraising effort reflects the Library District’s commitment to sustainability and energy conservation, said Tamara R. Meredith, director of the Jefferson County Library District.

The District has embarked on a full-facility energy audit through the Department of Enterprise Services’ Energy Program. That will result in recommendations for the planned solar installation as well as other opportunities for improved energy efficiency.

 Other improvements to the Library District include new technology to improve visibility and sound in the Humphrey Room and landscaping work around the Hagen Building, which is nearly complete. It includes a rhododendron garden to honor the memory of Paul C. Anderson, who left the District a significant donation in 2022. 

 Also on the drawing board is a design of a modular “Annex” building, which will house Administrative Services offices and staff meeting space.